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The Resurrection - What Happened?


Demas
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Hi everyone!

 

Now that Easter is over (at least for non-Orthodox Christians) I thought I would ask for your opinions on the Resurrection.

 

Many Christians believe the resurrection to be at the heart of their faith, following Paul's statement that if Christ has not raised from the dead then our faith is in vain.

 

My personal beliefs are not yet fixed on this, but I can see a number of differing interpretations that people I know have put around:

 

1. Christ was bodily resurrected, and the tomb was empty. The disciples witnessed his risen body.

 

2. Christ was spiritually resurrected, but his body remained dead. The disciples witnessed his living presence.

 

3. Christ remained dead, but his teachings lived on in the hearts of the disciples who used the language of resurrection to express their joy at the new life that Jesus had given them.

 

I imagine there are others interpretations, and it strikes me that the difference between 2 and 3 is a matter of interpretation and belief, not a matter of physical events.

 

What say ye?

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Being a fool for God it is very difficult to put His resurrection in a box and give it a number. Christians take different stands on different things and so their Christianity goes on to a deeper and deeper level. Your question must be answered in your soul. Intellectually any answer is only words so follow what the Lord tells you. I support you no matter what number you take and you can go first or sit in the first pew if that makes you feel better.

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Being a fool for God it is very difficult to put His resurrection in a box and give it a number.  Christians take different stands on different things and so their Christianity goes on to a deeper and deeper level.  Your question must be answered in your soul.  Intellectually any answer is only words so follow what the Lord tells you.  I support you no matter what number you take and you can go first or sit in the first pew if that makes you feel better.

 

 

 

REPLY:

DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS--RESURRECTION

I repeat from Minnesota as a TCPC Member, does anyone understand how to use this Email System? WHO at TCPC Management controls this horrific "NON-SYSTEM" of communications? IS THIS A PRIVATE CLUB FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH An M.S. In Electronic Data Processing or International Programming Management???

Or, are each of us "stricken" from confronting the Mainline Denominations' non-theology, because we are confounded by our own TCPC "Site Manager's Programming"?? Or, worse, are our "Site Manager's Regulations" for our TCPC site absolutely committed to: Another failure of our membership to elect a Democratic Party member to the White House in Washington??

How many truck drivers and elementary ed teachers and Pat Robertson supporters does our TCPC Website Manager want in our presence? Zero??

WHO designed this website?? WHO authorized TCPC acceptance of this nightmare website design? How elitist is that authority? Has our beloved TCPC been infiltrated by subtle, insidious, arrogant computer systems programmers who are the ONLY HUMANS who understand how "humans communicate"?

 

Think about it. If we of TCPC feel any need whatsoever to discuss Resurrection as St. Paul twisted it over 5 decades after Jesus' death, discuss it across Billy Graham's America, we need to pay attention, now:

--Pay attention to the giggle (do you hear the giggles?) when our cute, very young, TCPC Website Manager watches thousands and thousands of Americans try to use our Website, and, totally frustrated, absolutely throw their hands up in the air in despair, screaming:

"HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU SEND A MESSAGE ON THIS MESS NON-SYSTEM??";

--Pay serious, very serious attention to what "TCPC friends" are doing each week, while our beloved citizens are coming home in body bags each day from Iraq and Afghanistan, while American "friends of TCPC" continue--apparently endlessly--to accept monthly salaries from those Americans who scream, "Vengeance, vengeance is mine, and I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH! I BELIEVE I HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY, BECAUSE JESUS ZAPS ME EACH WEEK!! I AM FREE FROM RESPONSIBILITY!! JESUS TAKES MY RESPONSIBILITY AWAY!! BILLY GRAHAM TOLD ME THAT!!"

--Pay absolutely intense attention to the fact that, though Wall Street Journal has this week begun a whole new "page length" detail section, for each day, on "Executives On Trial"--currently 427 American corporate CEOs facing federal charges that, if prosecuted successfully, will place these Americans in prison for many years for ripping pensions to pieces, cutting American wages beyond what any shareholder group can accept, receiving over $100,000,000.00 in annual bonuses--our own TCPC Website Manager blockades our membership discussions of "Christian views of these horrors" by making it nearly impossible for Democratic Party members with faith in our God Who Is Love to speak to any of these issues: THE WEBSITE ABSOLUTELY BLOWS POTENTIAL WRITERS' MINDS!

 

WE SHOULD RESOLVE, IN OUR NEXT TCPC LEADERSHIP MEETING, to acknowledging that TCPC is for intellectual elitists WHO ARE ABOVE THE PSYCHOSPIRITUAL CAPACITIES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. The TCPC Website Programmers and Managers are giggling in the background.........."Isn't my creation of the TCPC Website cute!!! (Giggle) (Giggle)-----------only the Elite, only the University Management Decision Sciences, only the Oligarchs can figure out how to use our TCPC Website!!! Aren't I nifty, cute.......am I pretty???"

 

Thus the Sanhedrin. Look at it again! Do you understand the vast history of the Sanhedrin?????

 

THIS, DEAR ONES, IS THE CREATION OF THE CRUCIFIXION. Cheney in complicity with the Taliban and a new, "propagandists' impossible blood-link between Bush's grandfather and the Nazi's, between president George W. Bush and Al Queda funded by Saudi Arabian Sheiks.

 

THINK ABOUT IT. NEED A NEW TCPC WEBSITE MANAGER WHO CAN SIMPLIFY OUR EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS? OR, DO YOU WANT "RESURRECTION" TO CONTINUE TO ENDLESSLY SCREAM: "I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE! I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTHING ! JESUS ZAPS ME EVERY SUNDAY, SO I CAN KEEP ON DOING ON MONDAY WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS DONE!!"

 

Humbly, truly, I ask you, what do you want? Do you want the people, the grassroots people of this longstanding nation to speak--to face what they say--or, do you want to hide in hallways where you are adored, but no one holds you accountable to the cries and screams of the starving masses in America? If you want to ignore the starving, ill, suffering poor:

GIVE OUR TCPC WEBSITE DESIGNER MORE, AND MORE, POWER.

 

 

Pax et Bonum et Caritas.

 

Blessed By The Holy Name YAHWEH surrounding the life and death of Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Holy Chaplain, Yale University, now dead in this last week in our lives.

 

 

--denny

+

 

 

Br. Dennis Bruce Dickey MGC

Protestant Franciscan Tertiary

Previously Advisor To Walter F. Mondale,

People's Republic of China Section Shanghai

-Minnesota

_____________end: FIND A NEW TCPC WEBSITE MANAGER_____

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Well that was odd. :huh:

 

Anyway, soma, the event that people call the resurrection is usually claimed to be a physical event in history; or if not that then a spiritual event in history.

 

That is, whether I believe it or not, the grave was either empty or not on Easter Monday.

 

Whether I believe it or not, Jesus is alive or he is dead. (This is obviously less of the sort of statement which is able to be proven by a suitably placed videocamera). :D

 

My question is what people believe the underlying truth is - was Jesus bodily resurrected? Is Jesus alive (and self-aware) or not? Is the resurrection just a mythical way of talking about some other truth and is Jesus in fact dead, and if so what is that other truth?

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Hi October's Autumn,

 

Is that essentially my position 3?

 

 

Nope. The reason the resurrection is added later to Mark and the other gospels is to fit the story frame of the hero stories. It would today be like using a fairy tale to tell the story of Jesus. It is a genre, not to be taken literally. The genre is the medium for the message -- Love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

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Ah, OK. So, if I understand you, you believe that Jesus didn't come back to life, bodily or spiritually and is (still) dead and the apostles didn't have what some commentators call the "Easter Experience" but rather they (or the people who came after them and wrote the gospels) inserted the resurrection into the story of Jesus' life to fit the pre-existing notions of what a hero/leader should be.

 

I'm guessing that you would reject most of Paul's letters and John's gospel as being a distortion of Jesus' message and would look to a reconstructed Q and the Gospel of Thomas as being closest to the actual teachings of Jesus?

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Ah, OK.  So, if I understand you, you believe that Jesus didn't come back to life, bodily or spiritually and is (still) dead and the apostles didn't have what some commentators call the "Easter Experience" but rather they (or the people who came after them and wrote the gospels) inserted the resurrection into the story of Jesus' life to fit the pre-existing notions of what a hero/leader should be.

 

I'm guessing that you would reject most of Paul's letters and John's gospel as being a distortion of Jesus' message and would look to a reconstructed Q and the Gospel of Thomas as being closest to the actual teachings of Jesus?

 

Hi Demas,

 

I believe that Jesus died as an enemy of the state. If that is true, then he was probably buried in an unmarked "common" grave with other "trouble-makers" of the Roman Empire.

And if you believe the gospel record, it says that "They all forsook Him and fled".

So it is sadly possible that JESUS DIED ALONE! And there may have been no witnesses to the ressurection. A different take I realize,but....is it possible that is how it happened?

 

Blessings,

Jerry

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Ah, OK.  So, if I understand you, you believe that Jesus didn't come back to life, bodily or spiritually and is (still) dead and the apostles didn't have what some commentators call the "Easter Experience" but rather they (or the people who came after them and wrote the gospels) inserted the resurrection into the story of Jesus' life to fit the pre-existing notions of what a hero/leader should be.

 

yup. Not my theory, mind you. But it is hard to ignore the similarities of the stories...

 

I'm guessing that you would reject most of Paul's letters and John's gospel as being a distortion of Jesus' message and would look to a reconstructed Q and the Gospel of Thomas as being closest to the actual teachings of Jesus?

 

Wow, good question. Haven't gotten to thinking about that yet. I don't want to say yes because I have to take a closer look but saying no would be premature!

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Guest wayfarer2k
3.  Christ remained dead, but his teachings lived on in the hearts of the disciples who used the language of resurrection to express their joy at the new life that Jesus had given them.

 

 

Hi, Demas. I think I'll go with number 3.

 

Do I know what happened? No, I don't. One of the reasons is that the Bible presents different accounts of what Jesus' resurrection was like. I don't think the events in the gospels surrounding Christ's resurrection can be literally reconciled with each other. They differ and even contradict one another. This throws a monkey-wrench into the whole scenario concerning *exactly* what happened.

 

The apostle Paul, with no account whatsoever of having been at Jesus' crucifixion or tomb, says that Jesus had a "spiritual body". Now, what to heck is that? :)

 

Greeks saw spirit and body as almost completely separate things. But Paul says that Jesus had (and we will have) a "spiritual body." I think, in studying Paul's writings that he believed Jesus changed from mortal to immortal, from man to God, at the resurrection. But, as Paul often does, he uses terms without explaining what they mean. Spiritual body? Interesting.

 

Those who claim that Jesus' body was flesh and blood after the resurrection have to wrestle with his ability to disguise it, to make it pass through walls, to transport it instanteously from location to location. Not to mention that Jesus said that flesh and blood could not inherit the kingdom of God (if taken literally).

 

I am often told, "Would the disciples be willing to die for the sake of a lie?" Good question. I think it depends on what the disciples believed. Fundamentalist Muslims are more than willing to die in order to be assured of immediate passage into heaven, with 40 virgins hanging on one's arm. :) People are willing to die if they think their eternal destiny hangs precariously in the balance. And they are willing to kill for it too. Devotion to a "truth" does not guarantee it's truthfulness.

 

Those who claim that Jesus' resurrection was entirely spiritual, well, there again, what does that mean? I have never met an entity of pure spirit so I cannot say what a spirit can and cannot do.

 

So that pretty much leaves me with door number 3, not only by the process of elimination, but also by practical experience. I've never seen anyone come back from the dead, physically or "spiritually". I know that other have claimed to. But 2000 years of history post-resurrection tells me that despite Jesus' claim that sin and death was conquerored at the cross and tomb, sin and death still reigns on this earth.

 

Maybe someday things will change. I hope so. But, for now, I would rather place my hope and trust in the good teachings of Jesus rather than in contradictory, non-sensical accounts of something that happened 2000 years ago that even the "eye-witnesses" cannot agree on.

 

wayfarer

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Do I know what happened? No, I don't. One of the reasons is that the Bible presents different accounts of what Jesus' resurrection was like. I don't think the events in the gospels surrounding Christ's resurrection can be literally reconciled with each other. They differ and even contradict one another. This throws a monkey-wrench into the whole scenario concerning *exactly* what happened.

 

The apostle Paul, with no account whatsoever of having been at Jesus' crucifixion or tomb, says that Jesus had a "spiritual body". Now, what to heck is that? :)

 

Greeks saw spirit and body as almost completely separate things. But Paul says that Jesus had (and we will have) a "spiritual body." I think, in studying Paul's writings that he believed Jesus changed from mortal to immortal, from man to God, at the resurrection. But, as Paul often does, he uses terms without explaining what they mean. Spiritual body? Interesting.

 

Those who claim that Jesus' body was flesh and blood after the resurrection have to wrestle with his ability to disguise it, to make it pass through walls, to transport it instanteously from location to location. Not to mention that Jesus said that flesh and blood could not inherit the kingdom of God (if taken literally).

 

All good questions and comments. My experience when studying the bible is that many misconceptions come from a lack of understanding about the culture of the time. I wonder if we read more Greek Mythology if Paul's writings would make more sense. I went to Israel 11 years ago and found a lot of how I understood the bible was perverted because I read it with eyes from the 20th century instead of the 1st century. Same goes for what often happens in church on Sunday Mornings around the world!

 

 

I am often told, "Would the disciples be willing to die for the sake of a lie?" Good question. I think it depends on what the disciples believed. Fundamentalist Muslims are more than willing to die in order to be assured of immediate passage into heaven, with 40 virgins hanging on one's arm. :) People are willing to die if they think their eternal destiny hangs precariously in the balance. And they are willing to kill for it too. Devotion to a "truth" does not guarantee it's truthfulness.

 

Good point, never thought of it like that before. But you are absolutely right. If anyone here has ever been severly depressed they know the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. The ones that make you swear life has always been bad and always will be bad and there is nothing you can do about. Those beliefs lead people to suicide. They are dying for a truth that is not true, but a distortion. Sincerity of belief does not make something true. Is that a fair summary of your statement?

 

Those who claim that Jesus' resurrection was entirely spiritual, well, there again, what does that mean? I have never met an entity of pure spirit so I cannot say what a spirit can and cannot do.

 

I haven't investigated it but I suspect it is a stepping point between believing in a physical resurrection and no resurrection. It also explains why/how some can celebrate Easter whereas I spent Sunday morning in the Church Nursery holding a baby :D

 

Maybe someday things will change. I hope so. But, for now, I would rather place my hope and trust in the good teachings of Jesus...

 

Amen! :P

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Guest wayfarer2k
I went to Israel 11 years ago and found a lot of how I understood the bible was perverted because I read it with eyes from the 20th century instead of the 1st century.

 

If you have the time and desire, Autumn, I would love to hear more about this? What things really stand out as "eye-openers" from your trip and getting a better context? You can PM me on this if you'd rather not post it publically.

 

Sincerity of belief does not make something true.  Is that a fair summary of your statement?

 

Yes, I think so. In fact, I think it is those who become the most adamant and sure that their beliefs are correct that can become the most dangerous to others. Evangelical Christianity has, I suspect, put the cart before the horse and insisted that belief creates truth. But I hope and think that truth leads to belief.

 

I haven't investigated it but I suspect it is a stepping point between believing in a physical resurrection and no resurrection.

 

Very possibly. I would be ecstatic if I could discover what that stepping point is.

 

For instance, (just think aloud) what if Jesus' resurrection was not an "either-or" but, rather, a "both-and"?

 

In other words, what if it was more than physical and more than spiritual? After all, we struggle with trying to fit the resurrection accounts completely into one box or the other. The question often surrounding his resurrection, although not worded precisely this way, can usually be interpreted thus: "Was Jesus resurrection JUST physical or JUST spiritual?" It implies limitations to categories that, truth be told, many of us don't know where one leaves off and the other begins. When does a physical act become spiritual? When does a spiritual attitude manifest itself physically?

 

So again, I don't know. But maybe my thinking needs to be challenged to expand rather than to simply choose. And maybe Jesus' resurrection is just such an area where I could use some expansion. :)

 

wayfarer

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I'm not sure that the BOTH-AND isn't the default Christian orthodoxy - I certainly haven't met any Christians who argue that the resurrection was a mere bodily resuscitation.

 

Usually theologians distinguish between the resuscitation of Lazarus (who was brought back to normal human life - and presumably died of old age a long time ago) and the resurrection where Christ is risen and glorified, a point which is hammered home (so to speak) by the stories of the risen Christ walking through walls, yet normal enough to eat fish, yet not dying a second death a la Lazarus but ascending into heaven a la Elijah.

 

So the resurrection is both bodily/physical and spiritual and more.

 

The traditional liberal position that the resurrection was a true experience of the risen Christ but that, put crudely, the bunch of atoms that made up Jesus' earthly body didn't have anything miraculous happen to them is one step from that. It actually gels quite happily with the account of Paul's vision of Christ and his teachings of a 'new spiritual body'. It obviously clashes with the empty grave stories in the gospels, which are then considered to be either a later developing story or a mythic way of emphasising that the experience was *real* and not just a halucination brought on by the apostles eating too many gefilte fish.

 

The third ('progressive'?) position suffers from having to face the original Pauline assertion - if Christ be not raised, is our hope in him in vain? That is, if Christ is dead, why should I place my trust in him or his teachings? I'm not saying that it can't answer this charge - but you will need an answer to give, because people are going to ask.

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I don't always really like Sprong (I like Marcus Borg better), however, I really did like his take on the resurrection. He wrote a book on it, which you can prob. get third hand (Amazon or elsewhere). I think I found it at the public library or resale. Anyway, basically it is this:

There are too many conflicting stories on the resurrection to make it believable as a literal event. But the event was a real reawakening in the disciples (he specifically mentions Peter), who have an epiphany during the sharing of bread-- something they no doubt do thousands of times with Jesus. I don't know about the specifics as it was just a scenario, but I did like the way it was related to an actual event in a plausible coherent way. The book is otherwise repeative.

 

 

--des

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Very possibly. I would be ecstatic if I could discover what that stepping point is.

 

 

What I meant was that for those who don't want to dismiss resurrection completely, they go for a "spiritual" resurrection instead of no resurrection. Some will stay there others will come to the conclusion that there simply was no kind of resurrection.

 

For a good read on style of writing look up books by Dennis MacDonald and Gregory Riley. If I recall correctly, they separately came to the conclusion that the gospels are written in the heroic style, hence a need for a virgin birth and resurrection.

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The third ('progressive'?) position suffers from having to face the original Pauline assertion - if Christ be not raised, is our hope in him in vain?  That is, if Christ is dead, why should I place my trust in him or his teachings?  I'm not saying that it can't answer this charge - but you will need an answer to give, because people are going to ask.

 

My first question to anything Pauline: is it genuine?

 

After that take a good look at the culture. As my professor put it, life was short and miserable. If this is Pauline is he simply reflecting the feeling of the culture?

What exactly does Paul mean? We know Paul expected Jesus to return before he would die and eventually realized that would not be the case. Does Paul mean: what's the point? When he is expecting the imminent return? That is my guess but I'm not an expert on Paul.

 

There are a lot of questions that have to be asked. Many of which I personally cannot phathom at the moment. (I supposed to be doing school work).

 

It also goes back to the place of scripture in one's mind. (Hence my love for Borg). Just because someone (Paul) said it doesn't make it true. I separate Pauline theology from Jesus. Paul created Christianity whereas Jesus was a Jew. Because I am no longer a fundamentalist/conservative I can freely admit to simply say I disagree with Paul or that Paul is wrong. (Whereas fundamentalist/conservatives claim to believe in all scripture but still pick and choose).

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If you have the time and desire, Autumn, I would love to hear more about this? What things really stand out as "eye-openers" from your trip and getting a better context? You can PM me on this if you'd rather not post it publically. 

 

Wow, this is good for my procrastination habits!

 

Eating with someone was and still is big deal in the middle east. You don't just eat with anyone! Doing so, you create a covenant with them to be "brothers." It is a matter of protection. Thus the big bruhaha when Jesus ate with Prostitutes, Publicans, etc.

 

The whole thing with Jesus dipping his bread in the cup with Judas, also significant. Setting aside rather it happened, the author is conveying a special relationship between the two. Essentially Jesus is forgiving Judas for betraying him.

 

In this culture there is a saying (?) or probably better a mindset: God is as God's people are doing. Basically you aren't defined by your beliefs and it isn't a matter of what you believe (resurrection, virgin birth, miracles, etc.) it is what you DO that matters. The emphais on doctrine is a Western one. In the semitic cultures is on action. I finally realized that God didn't care about what I believed, God cared about what I DID. Part of the reason I'm now a teacher.

 

I saw things like millstones (huge and heavy). Also made sense of the "moving mountain with faith" thing. Herod literally moved a mountain top! I traveled with an archaelogist/minister who would show the places where Jesus likely was during certain sermons because of the landscape (likewhere Herod moved the mountain). I also so the beautiful poppies of the field (amazing!) that show up in the Gospels.

 

I learned a lot about the women and their position in society. I got a feel for why Jesus would have had tons of women followers. I traveled with 25ish people. I was one of 6 females, the youngest female by 25 years, the youngest person by 10 years. Everytime we stopped at a sight our archaelogist would tell one of Jesus stories related to women. I went from feeling like God really didn't care about women to seeing God through Jesus and seeing how radical he was in his view. There is significance in the 12 year old girl who was raised from the dead (the age at which girls become women) and the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. The stories are written like that for a reason. Also, Jesus being willing to let the woman who was bleeding (and unclean) to touch him, calling her daughter. I wish I had taped recorded all the stories he told. The Samartin woman is another story of signficance. Jesus talking to a woman in public, and a Samartin, at that! But there was more to that one... it has been 11 years so it is kind of hard to remember them all.

 

What I"ve was left with was a radically different view of who Jesus was. There is so much more to Jesus than a miraculous birth and death and resurrection of some kind. But we lose all this because we are so focused on death.

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Hi jerryb!

 

When you say that "there may have been no witnesses to the ressurection", what do you mean by 'the resurrection'?

 

What do you think happened?

 

Well Demas...you asked,so here goes. I think Jesus was executed by the Roman goverment for sedition....the mode of death was by crucifixion.....He was buried in an UNMARKED common grave( as was the Roman custom),and His bones gradualy returned to dust like everyone else. I believe that He was forgotten by most if not all of His twelve disciples...who the bible says "returned to their former occupations. HOWEVER....I am much more impressed by how He lived than by how He died. And I do believe that millions of people ,including me, have experienced SPIRITUAL RESSURECTION by following His example.

 

Blessings to you my friend,

 

Jerry

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Guest wayfarer2k
I'm not sure that the BOTH-AND isn't the default Christian orthodoxy - I certainly haven't met any Christians who argue that the resurrection was a mere bodily resuscitation.

 

True, they don't. But they often claim to know with absolute certainty about something that, if true, is so far beyond normal human experience as to require "blind faith". While they are absolutely certain that Jesus rose physically from the dead, I've never seen one instance where that same resurrection power is operative in his disciples (as he said it would be). When asked why God is no longer raising people from the dead (which I assume means resuscitation), they say, "Well, God don't do that no more cuz we got the whole Bible now." And perhaps that notion, that God is inconsistent, is what liberals find so troubling.

 

So the resurrection is both bodily/physical and spiritual and more.

 

I hope so. But I just don't know.

 

The third ('progressive'?) position suffers from having to face the original Pauline assertion - if Christ be not raised, is our hope in him in vain?  That is, if Christ is dead, why should I place my trust in him or his teachings?  I'm not saying that it can't answer this charge - but you will need an answer to give, because people are going to ask.

 

True. And I would answer that just because Lincoln, Washington, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King are dead in no way invalidates what they did, believed, or taught. In fact, it usually takes death before we realize the contributions that great leaders have made to our world.

 

But then, Paul's gospel hingepin was *not* the life, teachings, and example set by Christ either. Paul saw Christ's death and resurrection as the only way in which God could ever have a relationship with humanity. Paul was, I believe, a legalist. If Paul's gospel is embodied in the "cross of Christ", one short period of 2.5 days, then it is no wonder that he felt that Christ's resurrection was absolutely necessary. The Pharisees, unlike the Sadducees, seemed to be 100% convinced of a future resurrection. And Paul, despite his "conversion" was still very Pharisitical in his outlook. His doctrines are replete with legal terminology. Paul understanding of grace was not a negation of the legal system but, rather, a cheat within it. And even Paul's grace has a requirement -- both the death of Christ at the hands of God plus belief on the part of the Christian.

 

Did Jesus literally rise from the dead? Is he, literally, with us now and forevermore as he promised?

 

I prefer to put this into what Borg calls a "suspense account." I suspend being dogmatic on the issue because the facts don't line up, the eye-witnessed don't corroborate, and the proof is off on Alpha Centauri or somewhere else. :)

 

wayfarer

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My answer is:

 

I don't know!

 

I believe the resurrection happened bu I don't know how it happened. I think A COURSE IN MIRACLES has helped me understand miracles in a very new and mystical way. I recommend it highly. One of the main principles is that miracles happen in a different state of being than our normal ego-bound state. That makes a lot of sense to me.

 

Was the tomb empty? I acknowledge the possibility that it was because miracles do happen. OTOH I am also a fan of the Jesus Seminar and the many scholars who make the case that the Gospel stories of Holy Week and Easter are fiction and not fact. But I am still open to the other possibility.

 

I believe that we are always intimately and intricately connected to our creator and everything ever created. So, life is always a miracle of resurrection and abundant life beyond our ordinary knowing and understanding.

 

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

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  • 1 month later...

Latecomer on this thread, but...

 

There are few things that I think I know, and this one I'm 95% sure of:

 

Something uniquely powerful happened in the 1st century world centered around a man named Jesus. So powerful that we may be talking about it until the end of human civilization.

 

The 5% is that there is always the possibility that it was time for humanity to break into a new age and the Jesus story was just the kick in the butt that we needed to do it.

 

Whether Resurrection happened or not, I think that Resurrection is not the whole story. It's part of what the apostles called the Good News, but it's not the whole story. I view it is as one of the tools he (or the gospel writers) used to justify who he is. It is also, no doubt, a lasting symbol for what he taught: Lose your life, and you will be born into a new life.

 

Jesus' mission? Everything he tried to do and prove was for one purpose: To show what God is really like. Virgin Birth? Angelic Messages? Miracles? Son of God? To establish his credibility. Teachings? Love? Sacrifice? Resurrection? To show us what God is like.

 

<<Ok, Fatherman, you're just stalling. What do you BELIEVE about the resurrection?>>

 

In the immortal words of Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein after reading his grandfather's book entitled How I Did It:

 

IT!

 

COULD!

 

HAPPEN!

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According to Jesus Seminar scholar John Shelby Spong, there was no empty tomb no witness of the crucifiction no witness of resurrection all indicated by the clue "they all fled each disciple to his own home". Jesus died and was buried or 'dumped' by Roman soldiers. Their was no physical or spiritual resuscitation of Jesus' body. The disciples had all gone back to Galilee.

 

The Easter Moment, says Spong, occurred with Peter, 6 months later, while fishing and reminiscing with Andrew James and John. It occurs to Peter while dining on bread and wine that Jesus' death is for the purpose of new hope in the coming of the kingdom of God. Jesus' death did not end the kingdom rather entered in the Kingdom of God. 'Jesus is Lord' was their rallying cry. Broken bread was the symbol of this new entrance of God's empirical reign. Remembering Jesus' words and parables became the medium and substance associated with the revelation to Peter.

 

The message of Jesus' life spread to all the disciples and followers, then circulated to new prospects. This new Jewish reformation began to be called The Way. The Way had many versions and various leaders and proponents and was recorded and circulated in many different scriptures some of which were lost to that time period.

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Davestelzer:

 

This makes a lot more sense to me than most of the myths about Jesus that have been handed down to us over the centuries. But, I make this point knowing that myth making has been the essential ingredient in belief systyems for at least 10,000 years, and probably longer than that. What we have in the case of Jesus stories is a 2,000 year long disagreement between interpreters and orthodoxy about what may have happened and when.

 

Welcome to the boards Dave !

 

flow.... :)

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